"Lines, Shapes, and Colors, in Dynamic Conversation" For more than 35 years, I have been professionally striving to create evermore engaging works. I'm always seeking the ultimate union of dynamic color and balanced proportional harmonies, which will successfully relate the purest essence of my artistic ideas. My reactions, perceptions and influences are continually evaluated and refined, while working towards a unified cohesive resonance, which will illuminate and engender a contemplative dialog between the artwork's latent intent, and the viewers perceptions. My ambitious explorations are brought to fruition through the intensive melding of physical and subconscious energies with practiced technical abilities. So that Lines, Shapes, and Colors, can be felt as much as seen."
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
There were actually, two “Great Loves” from my earliest childhood, Art and Music. Drawing & Painting and playing the Drums & Guitar. I pursued each of these interests simultaneously in my schooling, winning several arts competitions, while occasionally performing in bands, writing songs and recording. My teenage years had leaned more heavily on my musicianship, as a Songwriter for Radio Commercials and Network Television Cartoon shows and as a Solo Recording Artist and finally, Record Producer in the 1960’s through the late 1970’s while still developing my Artworks in the “down times” (when I didn’t have any music projects) but not yet showing regularly in Commercial Galleries. My desire for more control of my creations than the music business allowed eventually pushed me to devote most of my efforts to maturing my direction and style as a professional visual artist, and I have ever since been professionally engaged for most of my adult life.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I was always fascinated by the lines and shapes of buildings and the animated play of light and shadow on everything, and I’ve always had a vivid imagination, so I’d describe it as sort of an auto-involuntary “magnetic reverberant resonance” that takes hold of my attention. I definitely relate to being most esthetically compatible with the “Hard-Edge”, “Mid-Century Modernist / Minimalist” and “Bauhaus“ movements, with a bit of “Finish Fetishism” thrown in. I call myself an “intentional designer” - one who strives to use the least amount of information to execute my creative ideas for the greatest visual and emotional impact, whether that be by using the simplest line work, limiting my Color selections to only 2, or a combination of these mindful reductions which are often present in my most serious pieces. I strive to instill a readily accessible essence of my artistic visions.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
I have always preferred a “purposeful simplicity” in most things, from architecture to photography, films and music. I don’t mean “brevity” or “paucity” for its own sake, but rather as an aid to eliminating excessive deciphering where misinterpretation results in losing the artist’s true intent. I don’t see a reason to “show” a work if not to present your vision to the public in as clear a statement as possible. Life is confusing enough, why create any more of it intentionally?
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
While I’m working in my studio, I respond to something like a “mind-worm” (also happens with addictive music called “earworms”) a repetitive and persistent idea that presents itself unrelentingly, which I feel compelled to address in order to release my brain from it’s grasp. I’ll even stop working on whatever piece I was involved with, to take up the newer idea. It’s not often that there are uncompleted works lying around in various production stages, I usually work on one piece at a time, as my studio is not very large, but it does happen from time to time.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
While I have progressed thru many thematic iterations over several decades as a professional artist, the underlying fundamental basics of “precision and economy” are always at the root of my works. Although I have several ongoing “Series”, no single “Theme” is dominant at this juncture, but the quest for reductive simplicity without losing the artworks emotional content is ever present. Each new work has to have an emotive ”presence”. I'm always seeking the ultimate union of dynamic color and balanced proportional harmonies, which will successfully relate the purest essence of my artistic ideas…THIS remains the primary goal for each finished piece.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
A) Most pieces begin mentally as imagined “brain sketches”, with occasional pencil thumbnails, that’s where I do nearly all of the extensive preliminary work, until I’m convinced that it’s worth bringing to reality, when I’m definitely sure of the completed image in its entirety. While I do leave a small place for unplanned improvisation here and there, I need to have a well thought through “road map” including the color selection process, to actually begin the physical work.
B)I’ll “scale up” the piece to whatever size canvas / paper, or other substrate I’m working on. I need to know what the dimensions and tonality are for each section of the work as well as it’s projected final appearance including surface finish treatments, which are VERY important, so I know how to set up the order for “masking out” the various sections.
C)I make Color mixes checking their luminescent tonal balances for each section with small thumbnail sample swatches made to relative proportional sizes on heavy watercolor paper, and adjust the viscosity for ease of application as needed.
D)I do the masking with Fine Line painters tape and white waxed “Butchers Freezer Paper” for each section that needs to be protected and covered, while I apply paint to the remaining open section. (Usually lighter colors are applied first, then progressively working, painting each section to the darkest tones.)
E)I work each section of the piece covering, and then painting only open sections, then recovering those sections after their paint application has sufficiently dried, and repeating the process in the next section, a very methodical deliberate order, making sure to always adjust the surface color tonal depth and textural quality to match whatever parameters I’ve established. Many of my paintings require many painstaking hours of sensitive applications, building multiple layers, in varying Media combinations, to accomplish the luminosity and vibrant effects I seek. This can be VERY tricky, I must record the value relationship in my “minds-eye” before the taped covering, and then remember it, as I do the adjacent section, so that I’ll have a unified appearance across the entirety of the piece when viewed as a whole.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
I primarily work in Professional Quality 100% Acrylic Paints and Pigmented Emulsions, (Juried Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters) and am not fond of Oil Paint fumes, but do sometimes work in Mixed Media with Oil Pastels, etc. I apply a lot of thin coats of paint with various paint rollers and fine natural kolinsky sable brushes I’ve had for many years, they are far and away the best for fine glazing of tight precise finishes.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
My works today are heightened refinements over a long time period of accumulated development of both insightful ideas and practiced executions to what I think are my true artistic strengths; I know what a “Quality” Rich Moyers artwork actually is, wherein the completed work illuminates and amplifies its substance, so the viewer can focus and contemplate, feeling it’s essence without the workmanship detracting from it. That is what I want, and strive to inhabit each of my works today.
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
I’ve always admired the French Impressionists, and have studied the best of them in Paris. Their ability to distill, articulate, and master the effects of dancing natural light stands the ultimate test of time, while they persisted in the face of strong ridicule from the “public” at the time of their nascent creations speaks volumes for their character, strength, and sincerity of their beliefs in the artworks themselves.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
Artists have ALWAYS been challenged throughout all of history, to be understood when exploring new directions, introducing new methods, etc. Now, using many electronic means, with all of the constant animated visual diversions people have in the palms of their hands, still image visuals, like 2 dimensional static image paintings, are at a definite disadvantage to gain anyone’s fleeting attention. Those diminished attention spans are increasingly ever shorter, with their eyes and brain reflexes constantly being subliminally trained to respond to rapid movement, they’ll quickly click “next” when nothing moves on their screens. This all equals a far less thoughtful visual process going on, and therefore, less time allotted to strike a cord or resonate with any particular artwork, so the challenge becomes all the more difficult day by day. Slowing down to actually think about a still image seems unfortunately quite “out of fashion” today.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Time is the best arbiter of what is correct for progressive development of your artworks. Absorb everything, even the “failures” and things you don’t particularly like, then remain true to YOUR Vision while remaining “open” to corrective change. Always use the best materials you can afford, they’ll make your executions much more intuitive and less onerously arduous. Don’t ever take “short cuts” or use non-archival methods, they’ll bite your dealers, collectors, and you in the end.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?
Some artists work exclusively in those causal concepts, other’s take up whatever strikes them as a “necessary duty” but I’m personally not much of a “current events” / “flavor of the month” or “deep social commentary” artist, although I have in the past, ventured into some societal observational works, by sharing my viewpoint on the human condition / psychological themes. These works are mostly what I call my Abstract Figure Paintings and are sporadically made from time to time, when I feel compelled to impart my personal take on something I see as universal regarding human relationships.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a new to me “claybord" surface, and experimenting with adding and subtracting thin paint layers while trying to control the “ghosting” tonalities that build up on each pass. I find the resultant appearance of enhanced volume depth quite an interesting effect, and I’m trying to incorporate that sensitivity into a 30 x 10 x 2 Inches Deep Wood Panel Modenist Painting.
View Rich's full collection - Original Artworks by American artist Rich Moyers